By G. R. Evans
Alan of Lille used to be a remarkable determine within the moment half the 12th century as a theologian and as a poet and he has appeared as wealthy and person a author to fashionable students as he did to his personal contemporaries. This examine examines his paintings as an entire, in an try and set his famous literary success within the context of his theological writings. He used to be in lots of methods a pioneer, an experimenter with numerous of the recent genres of his day, an innovator either as a instructor and as an writer. He used to be now not an unique philosopher lots as an eclectic, drawing on a variety of the resources on hand to his contemporaries. He exhibits us what will be performed through a lively-minded student with the assets of the day, in the colleges of past due twelfth-century France, to carry theology alive and make it fascinating and hard to his readers.
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Additional resources for Alan of Lille: The Frontiers of Theology in the Later Twelfth Century
108 In the Contra Haereticos he interrupts his discussion of the question of the relation between body and soul, to explain that cto the incorporeal spirit belong. 109 Of these, intellectus110 and ratio111 are defined in Alan's Dictionary of Theological Terms as potentie anime. But this gives us only half a picture of a man. Human beings have bodies as well as souls. The soul must govern the body. The head rules the heart and the heart keeps in order the improper desires of the lower part of the body.
The vitium of fallen nature involves a degeneration. The man who denies his manhood is a barbarism: Se negat esse virum, naturae factus in arte Barbarus. Ars illi non placet, imo, tropus. He denies that he is a man, barbarously, although he is made by Nature's skill; Art does not please him as much as artifice. This is a kind of logic which causes the laws of nature to perish: Hoc modo est logicus, per quern conversio simplex Artis, naturae jura perire facit. He is too fond of logic, through whom a simple conversion causes the rights of Nature to perish.
He sees a word as something rather like a human soul, a limited, created thing, which begins its life upon earth, but is intended by God to reach a higher level and to be, in the end, quite at home in heaven. Only when it reaches heaven is the human soul in its proper place. Only when it is applied to God is a term used 'properly', in the 'theological' sense of the word. This is a principle on which Alan builds a very great deal, here and elsewhere in his writings. If it is theological language which is normal and correct, then it sets the standard of normal usage even when it appears to break the rules of grammar and dialectic.
Alan of Lille: The Frontiers of Theology in the Later Twelfth Century by G. R. Evans